The Death of Newark (Crime Factory 11)
1967 Life cover by Bud Lee
Having lived in Harlem when the 1977 blackout happened, I remember clearly the streets turning into a madcap circus of marauders looting stores and losing their minds. For that reason, I am now obsessed with the sounds of broken glass, the smell of gasoline and social unrest in America's ghettos.
While I was only four years old in 1967, the Newark Riots (which I always thought would make a great name for a Black punk band) is another one of those racially charged historical events that was so crazy and devastating that its effects are still in full affect forty-four summers later.
Later this month, my new crime short story "The Death of Newark" will be published in Crime Factory #11. Although I will write a longer "behind the scenes" essay when the zine is released, "The Death of Newark" details how that infamous riot rocked the foundation of one family from the hood. Props to the entire staff at Crime Factory, which won the 2012 Spinetingler Award for Best Zine. Special thanks to my editor Cameron Ashley, for his patience and understanding.